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Rusty Serena stays on track

Rusty triple champion Serena Williams booked an Australian Open fourth round clash with rising teen star Victoria Azarenka today as Gael Monfils spearheaded the French men's revolution.

sports Updated: Jan 24, 2009 13:36 IST

Rusty triple champion Serena Williams booked an Australian Open fourth round clash with rising teen star Victoria Azarenka today as Gael Monfils spearheaded the French men's revolution.

Williams, the tournament favourite, crushed China's Peng Shuai 6-1, 6-4 to set up an intriguing showdown with Azarenka after the Belarusian ended any hope Amelie Mauresmo had of repeating her 2006 heroics in Melbourne.

Stung by a listless "D-minus" performance in the second round and sister Venus' shock exit at the same stage, Williams stamped her authority on the match early.

Peng mounted a stiffer challenge in the second set but couldn't match the American's power, leaving Zheng Jie as China's only player left in the draw.

Wimbledon semi-finalist Zheng, the 22nd seed, beat Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 6-2 to continue her best-ever Australian Open showing.

"It was definitely a lot better than my second round. But, you know, I'm still trying to work on some things and hoping they'll come together," said Williams.

"I'm feeling a little rusty, for whatever reason. I'm hoping my next round I'll be a little better."

She added that her sister's shock upset in the second round had given her extra motivation to win a 10th Grand Slam title.

"It obviously increases my motivation and my desire to win and hopefully do better.